There was no shortage of griping Thursday (including from my esteemed colleague Chad Courrier) over Ron Gardenhire's decision to sit Joe Mauer.
It wasn't a surprising decision: day game after night game, getaway day, Mauer had taken numerous foul tips in the previous games. Catchers never play 162 games, seldom even 150. They shouldn't.
I have a certain sympathy with those fans who pay for big-dollar tickets and don't get to see Mauer play.
But I will never criticize Gardenhire for deciding that his star catcher needs a break, nor Mauer for taking one. I am far more likely to question the decision to play him under the circumstances of Thursday, as I did in April.
And I have my money where my mouth is. I have tickets for a game next month, $80 seats, a getaway-day midweek nooner, and while I always want to see Mauer catch, I do not expect to see him. I don't expect it, because I believe it's for the better of both Mauer and the Twins for him to get time off.
Here's a clear-eyed analysis of Joe Mauer's home run shortage this season.